Dr. Markus Valtiner

Dr. Markus Valtiner, head of the group "Interaction forces and Functional materials"


Dr. Valtiner's research interest are in the general area of materials and interface science, particularly in the area of adhesion and friction at electrified interfaces as well as development of novel materials systems with stimuli-responsive properties. Materials of interest range from structural and composite materials for automotive and aerospace applications, functional materials for coatings, sensing and energy-storage applications to biomaterials (biomimetic, biocompatible, biodegradable).

The research aims to identify fundamental physical and chemical mechanisms at the molecular, nano- and microscales to provide equations and scaling relations in terms of characteristic lengths, relaxation times and other properties (chemical etc.) of functional materials in complex (dynamically changing) environments. The aim is to measure – understand – control/predict properties of materials, interfaces and thin films over large length and time scales (from single atoms/molecules to large ensembles and genuine materials), in order to provide the means for a rational design of structure-property relationships for structural and functional materials.

His experimental expertise focuses around surface and interface phenomena at the molecular scale as well as surface and interface forces and their direct measurements using techniques such as atomic force microscopy and the surface forces apparatus. He also has experience with theoretical methods (ab initio thermodynamics, DFT simulations using primarily VASP). 

Some of his publications are:

M. Valtiner, X. Banquy, K. Kristiansen, G. W. Greene, and J. N. Israelachvili, "The Electrochemical Surface Forces Apparatus: The Effect of Surface Roughness, Electrostatic Surface Potentials, and Anodic Oxide Growth on Interaction Forces, and Friction between Dissimilar Surfaces in Aqueous Solutions," Langmuir 28 (36), 13080-13093 (2012).
C. Kunze, M. Valtiner, R. Michels, K. Huber, and G. Grundmeier, "Self-localization of polyacrylic acid molecules on polar ZnO(0001)-Zn surfaces," Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13 (28), 12959-12967 (2011).
Mauro Palumbo, Benjamin Paul Burton, André L. V. Costa e Silva, Brent T. Fultz, Blazej Grabowski, Göran Grimvall, Bengt Hallstedt, Olle Hellman, Bonnie B. Lindahl, André L. Schneider, Patrice E. A. Turchi, and Wei Xiong, "Thermodynamic modelling of crystalline unary phases," Physica Status Solidi B 251 (1), 14-32 (2014).
P. Thissen, M. Valtiner, and G. Grundmeier, "Stability of Phosphonic Acid Self-Assembled Monolayers on Amorphous and Single-Crystalline Aluminum Oxide Surfaces in Aqueous Solution," Langmuir 26 (1), 156-164 (2010).
M. Valtiner and G. Grundmeier, "Single Molecules as Sensors for Local Molecular Adhesion Studies," Langmuir 26 (2), 815-820 (2010).
M. Todorova, M. Valtiner, and J. Neugebauer, "Hydrogen adsorption on polar ZnO(0001)–Zn - Extending equilibrium surface phase diagrams to kinetically stabilised structures", (2011).
Markus Valtiner, Kai Kristiansen, George Wren Greene, and Jacob N. Israelachvili, "Effect of surface roughness and electrostatic surface potentials on forces between dissimilar surfaces in aqueous solution," Advanced Materials 23 (20), 2294-2299 (2011).
M. Valtiner, X. Torrelles, A. Pareek, S. Borodin, H. Gies, and G. Grundmeier, "In situ Study of the Polar ZnO(0001)–Zn Surface in Alkaline Electrolytes," Journal of Physical Chemistry C 114 (36), 15440-15447 (2010).
Philipp Stock, Thomas Utzig, and Markus Valtiner, "Direct and quantitative AFM measurements of the concentration and temperature dependence of the hydrophobic force law at nanoscopic contacts," Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 446, 244-251 (2015).
Thomas Utzig, Sangeetha Raman, and Markus Valtiner, "Scaling from Single Molecule to Macroscopic Adhesion at Polymer/Metal Interfaces," Langmuir 31 (9), 2722-2729 (2015).
M. Valtiner, G. N. Ankah, A. Bashir, and F. U. Renner, "Atomic force microscope imaging and force measurements at electrified and actively corroding interfaces: Challenges and novel cell design," Review of Scientific Instruments 82 (2), 023703-1-023703-8 (2011).
J. N. Israelachvili, K. Kristiansen, M. A. Gebbie, D. W. Lee, S. H. Jr. Donaldson, S. Das, M. V. Rapp, X. Banquy, M. Valtiner, and J. Yu, "The Intersection of Interfacial Forces and Electrochemical Reactions," The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 117 (51), 16369-16387 (2013).
Stephen H. Donaldson Jr., Thomas Utzig, Matthew A. Gebbie, Sangeetha Raman, Buddha Ratna Shrestha, Jacob N. Israelachvili, and Markus Valtiner, "Electrochemical control of specific adhesion between amine functionalized polymers and noble metal electrode interfaces," Materials and Corrosion 65 (4), 362-369 (2014).
Sangeetha Raman, Thomas Utzig, Theodoros Baimpos, Buddha Ratna Shrestha, and Markus Valtiner, "Deciphering the scaling of single-molecule interactions using Jarzynski's equality," Nature Communications 5, 5539 (2014).
Theodoros Baimpos, Buddha Ratna Shrestha, Sangeetha Raman, and Markus Valtiner, "Effect of interfacial ion structuring on range and magnitude of electric double layer, hydration, and adhesive interactions between mica surfaces in 0.05-3 M Li+ and Cs+ electrolyte solutions," Langmuir 30, 4322-4332 (2014).
M. Valtiner, "Hydrophobic Forces, Electrostatic Steering, and Acid–base Bridging Between Atomically Smooth Self-assembled Monolayers and End-functionalized Pegolated Lipid Bilayers", (2012).
Markus Valtiner, Kai Kristiansen, George Wren Greene, and Jacob N. Israelachvili, "Effect of surface roughness and electrostatic surface potentials on forces between dissimilar surfaces in aqueous solution," Advanced Materials 23 (20), 2294-2299 (2011).

 Education and previous experience (short version):

  • Undergraduate studies of Technical Chemistry @ Vienna University of Technology, Austria (1999-2005)
    • Summer internship @ BrüggemannChemical L. Brüggemann KG, Heilbronn, Germany (2001)
    • Summer internship @ BaxterImmuno, Vienna, Austria (2002)
    • Master thesis in collaboration with Dept. of Physics @ University of Lübeck, Germany, Title: "Theoretical Investigations of Iron(II)-Tetrazole Spin-Crossover compounds" (2005)
  • Graduate student in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Polymer/Metal Interfaces @ MPI für Eisenforschung, GmbH, Germany (2006-2008)
    • Defense and graduation with highest distinctions @ Vienna University of Technology, Austria, Thesis: "Atomistic understanding of structure, stability and adhesion at ZnO/electrolyte interfaces" (2008)
  • Post-Doc with Prof. Martin Stratmann @ MPI für Eisenforschung GmbH (Germany) (2/2009-3/2010)
    • Short-term research visit @ Material Research Laboratory (MRL), University of California, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. (3/2009-6/2009)
  • Post-Doc with Prof. Jacob N. Israelachvili @ University of California, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. (Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Interface Science Lab), (4/2010-5/2012)
    • Funded by the European Commission within the 7th framework program - PEOPLE - Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, Project No. 253079: "Novel concepts for molecular interface engineering and unravelling of structure/property relationships at electrified interfaces"
  • Awards and Miscellaneous Career Highlights
    • Otto-Hahn-Medal of the Max-Planck-Society, 2010
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